After leaving Rome, I only had about a week left of my time in Europe – a few days each in Tuscany, Venice, and Paris. M, N, and I actually rented a car from Rome to go on a mini road trip through Tuscany (3 quick days). Let’s just saying driving in Rome was quite an adventure! We had discussed our mini road trip with our tour manager, who is Italian, and he told us to be careful! This should have been a sign for what we had in store. Getting out of Rome was probably the craziest part of the drive – everyone just seems to go whenever/wherever and the streets aren’t in a grid system so it’s a little more confusing than what we are used to. Once we made it to the highway towards Greve in Chianti, the driving calmed down except for the speed – everyone drives crazy fast there! We were even almost run over by a police office – he was driving so fast and there was a semi truck next to us so we couldn’t get over right away! Probably the scariest part of the drive. Once we got into the Tuscan region, we drove through the country roads and had quite a view of the countryside. The whole Tuscan region was so beautiful! Rolling hills, trees, and vineyards everywhere.
Our first stop on our trip through Tuscany was Greve in Chianti. We actually stayed in a cute little bed and breakfast, Antico Pastifio, right near the center of town. The owner was a great host and definitely made us feel at home. Greve seemed like a pretty small town but still had quite a few shops and restaurants in the town center. We ended up walking around the town center and then going to a pizza party at the B&B the first night we were there. The next morning we had breakfast at a cute restaurant in the town square of pastries, tea, and cappuccinos. My tea was served in the cutest matching teapot and teacup! While we were there they were setting up for a town festival later in the day. It was fun to watch the commotion while we enjoyed our breakfast. After eating, we headed back to the B&B to pack up and headed to Sienna on the way to Montefollonico.
We only had time for a quick trip through Sienna, but the little time we were there I really enjoyed. The whole city is up on a hill and we had to take several escalators up from where we parked to get into the actual city. We spent a couple hours wondering through the streets, seeing the churches, and having a late lunch of pasta and of course more gelato. I thought Sienna was a really cool little town and would have liked to have more time to spend there but unfortunately its hard to see and do everything so I’m glad we were able to make a quick stop.
From Sienna it was on to Montefollonico for the night. We actually stayed in a pretty cool looking “castle” type apartment for the night. We booked it through Air BNB, which is a site that allows people to rent out rooms in their houses or even their whole house/apartment. The place we stayed at was a separate apartment on the top floor while the family we were renting from lived in the house below. It was a pretty cool set up and the apartment was really nice with a touch of retro decorating. And the view was amazing! Montefollonico was definitely what I was expecting from my previous thoughts of Tuscany – rolling green hills and vineyards everywhere. Driving through the countryside to where we stayed the night was so pretty and actually one of my favorite little things of the trip. That night we had a relaxing night. We walked into the town and found a cute little wine restaurant where we bought wine, bread, prosciutto, cheese, and fig jam for dinner. We decided to have a more “light” dinner since we had a huge late dinner of pasta in Sienna. We brought all the food back to our apartment and had a relaxing night in, which was much needed.
The next morning we headed to a winery nearby for a little wine and olive oil tasting. The vineyard wasn’t giving tours since it was a Sunday but we were able to try four varieties of wine,made from their vineyards, and tried some olive oil as well. All of us decided to buy wine to take home for our families and I decided to buy some olive oil as well.
From the vineyards, we continued on our road trip towards Venice!